Born in Statesville, North Carolina, Robin Branstrom grew up around music and art. Her mother was a pianist, and her father entertained her with original bedtime stories and by drawing cartoons. Creativity was encouraged, and having an outlet for it was a natural part of life. Drawing and painting was an important part of her childhood. Robin’s appreciation for the arts has been expressed as she has led the boards of the Charlotte Symphony, Charlotte Ballet, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and the North Carolina Arts Council. Robin has also chaired the Women’s Impact Fund and the boards of both the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board of Trustees.
Participating in Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte is a full-circle moment for Robin that intermingles two of her favorite things: philanthropy and dance. “I have been a fan of modern dance since the 1970s, when I was introduced to Charlotte Ballet,” says Robin, a current Advisory Board member of the Charlotte Ballet.
Robin has a tremendous appreciation for Charlotte Ballet. “I watched my daughter Robbie [now an adult her 20s] grow up as a ballerina in the Academy,” she says. “Robbie played many child roles in Nutcracker growing up, and I credit her years with Charlotte Ballet as very formative and maturing ones. “ Robin also credits the Ballet’s adult dancers with being wonderful role models for her daughter.
With Robin’s love of both the arts and charitable endeavors, it is no wonder her current art consulting venture, Robin & Robbins, is an amalgam of both her passions. “Philanthropy is part of our families’ values at Robin & Robbins, as well as part of our business model,” she says. “A portion of our profits will always go to support the non-profits in which we believe.”
A few fun facts about Robin:
Happy place: At the beach with family, friends & dogs
Guilty pleasure: A good bottle of red wine by the fire with a Netflix marathon
Favorite quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” (“…and that is why I am dancing!” Robin exclaims.
- Gene & Sarah: $123,135.00
- Patty & Juwan: $107,106.00
- John & Sarah: $95,000.00
- David & Elizabeth: $37,925.00
- Jennifer & Drew: $32,038.00
- Kandi & James: $15,150.00
Hometown: Lake Villa, IL
Seasons with Charlotte Ballet: 1
Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, James grew up dancing at Dancenter North. He trained in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and musical theater. After high school, James studied at Butler University under Marek Cholewa, Susan McGuire, Derek Reid, Cynthia Pratt, Tong Wang, Stephan Laurent and Michelle Jarvis. In 2010, he graduated with a BFA in Dance and was offered an apprenticeship at Ballet San Jose under the artistic leadership of Dennis Nahat. In his second season, James was promoted to Corps de Ballet. During his five years with Ballet San Jose, he was featured in a number of works including Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera, Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room and Jorma Elo’s Glow/Stop.
A few fun facts about James:
Dancing Since: Age 3
Great performance moment: Nailing my pirouettes in the Black Swan Pas de Deux
Favorite thing about Charlotte: All the hiking trails
Robin will be dancing to benefit the partners in ImaginOn—the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. ImaginOn is a joint effort close to Robin’s heart that aims to enrich children’s lives. Opened in 2005, experiences at ImaginOn bring stories to life through extraordinary experiences that challenge, inspire and excite young minds. At ImaginOn, young people have opportunities to learn using all five senses “from the page to the stage.”